(Sorry, no #Fridayflash today.)
Writing for the love of it...interesting thought. Let's explore that for a minute. I am a new writer. I am not new to writing...I've been writing, one thing or another, my whole life. But I am new to calling myself a writer and actually committing to a relationship with said writing.
It's always been my dream to write a novel. I never really knew what I wanted to write that novel about until recently. It was one of those celestial moments where the light broke through the clouds and illuminated me. I was reading a YA book at the time and I suddenly knew that's what I wanted to write.
That was a very scary moment for me because I had no idea how to go about writing a novel. But I was determined. I started surfing...well, okay not actually in the ocean but on the internet. What I found out was there's a ton of information out there. The problem was wading through it all to find out what’s good advice and what's not.
At that time, I had the good fortune of reconnecting with a friend, Michelle Sussman, that I've know since grade school. (I'm going to toot her horn here because she is an amazing writer and has a great blog, Reading and Writing By Candlelight. You can also follow her on twitter (@michellesussman). Michelle gave me, and continues to give, a lot of great advice.) I told her I was nervous because I didn't know all the rules of writing. She advised me to just start writing. After all, the story would not write itself! She also suggested finding a local critique group.
Upon her urging, I recently joined SCBWI, Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators, and will attend my first local meeting on Saturday. Before the meeting, I will attend the Critique Group Meet and Greet so I can be matched up with a critique group. It's all very exciting and very scary at the same time! And let me tell you, it's all happening really fast!
How does this all tie into writing for the love of it? When you love someone (or something) you will do pretty much anything for that person. You do whatever you can to spend time with that person. That’s the lesson. Find a way and make it happen. Don't spend your time saying you wish you could be a writer or you wish you had more time for writing. To borrow from Nike...Just Do It!
Close your eyes and jump in with both feet into the Ocean of Writing. The water's not nearly as cold and scary as it seems once you're in it. There are never enough hours in the day to do everything you want to do. That's just life. But if writing is one thing you desire, then surely you can squeeze in a few minutes here and there. Remember, there are no hard and fast rules! No one says you have to write every day. If you can't, don't beat yourself up about it. Allow writing to become a part of your life in whatever way it fits in.
When I sit down to write, there is no place in the world I would rather be than right there tapping on my keyboard. I have a busy family life so time is definitely something that is in short supply in my life. I write whenever I can...waiting at soccer practice, in the waiting room at kid's orthodontist appointment, late at night when everyone is asleep (my favorite time). I get my best ideas while in the shower. I think because it's the only other quiet time I get besides late at night.
Enjoy whatever time your life allows you to spend writing. Find a local writer's group or critique group to help you further your learning. Twitter is a great place to meet up with other people who love writing. (Follow me @kfentonwhite) Above all...write because you love it!
(While you're out surfing the internet, check out the new website YA Flash Death Match that Michelle has launched with fellow aspiring YA author Karly Kirkpatrick. They will be hosting contests for YA writers and awarding awesome prizes!)